Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Fought the Law and the Law Won

My sister wants to know the gory details of my run-in with Murphy's Law.

Well, it all started with being late for First Saturday Mass in Dickinson. We got in the door, and Emma had to stop me and re-install my veil. I had it on backwards. Afterward we helped clean the hall for the parish tea party. We worked til almost noon. Hot, dirty, hungry, and tired we searched for the car keys, only to find them on the front passenger seat, close to Nathaniel's expensive camera. Luckily(?) the doors were unlocked.

We were in a hurry to get home because I needed to make 3 dozen deviled eggs; Emma was supposed to bake 5 dozen sugar cookies, and we had to collect and pack up tea sets, serving pieces, etc. We dashed into the Clear Lake Chic-fil-a for the nourishment of our bodies. Unfortunately, 500 other people were already waiting for their food. An hour later we resumed our journey home.

I stopped at a Kroger to pick up a supply of those prissy little party mints. You know the ones. They're shaped like tiny square pillows and come in an assortment of pastel colors. They're standard tea party and shower fare. I knew this would only take five minutes, so I turned off the car and left Emma napping. I searched each shelf of the candy section and found zero multicolored pastel party mints. I did find three small boxes of yellow ones. Rushing over to customer service, I waited for an older man in overalls to complete the thrilling tale of how he fell out of a tree backwards while cleaning up after Hurricane Ike. (Did he go to the doctor? No!) Finally, I got to explain my problem to the customer service lady, and she walked over to the candy aisle with me. "Oh, those," she remembered. "We put those on clearance a couple of months ago." I grabbed the funny yellow ones and raced to the checkout, all the while imagining Emma melted on the front seat. Thankfully, she was fine. We completed the last leg of our journey home without incident.

I got out two big pots and started cooking three dozen eggs. I got the cooked eggs cooled and started peeling. Uh-oh. Apparently a terrorist had infiltrated the egg factory and injected superglue into the eggs. Out of the first five I attempted to peel, four looked like they had been given to a toddler for entertainment. Emma tried with no better results. Then Herb rode to the rescue, but all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't rescue these eggs. I consulted several cookbooks for solutions and found nothing. Then I had a brilliant idea. YouTube! Emma and I huddled with the laptop and Bam! we found a method that we had not tried. Not only was it novel, it was entertaining. I call it the Big Bad Wolf method. You tap each end of the egg, remove the shell from each end and put the small end to your mouth. Then you huff and you puff, and you blow the egg out the other end like a massive spitball. How inspiring! How hygienic! I could picture the shock on the tea party ladies' faces as I explained the shelling method I used. Unfortunately, this method didn't work either.

It was now after 4 p.m., and I had four pock-marked but usable eggs out of three dozen. I decided that I needed to start over. I purchased three dozen more eggs. I bought a different brand and chose the oldest ones I could find, as I had read that the fresher the eggs, the harder they are to peel. This time, I added baking soda to the water when I boiled them. This was a tip that I picked up from one of the YouTube videos. Confident that all my trials were over, I tapped each end of one of the new eggs and rolled it on the counter. It broke completely in half without disturbing the shell. Remarkable!

By this time my feet and legs were aching, and I was having a devastating effect on the Texas water supply. Here we were in a drought, and I had let 1.2 million gallons of water wash over these infernal eggs as I tried to peel them. Worst of all, my stress had spread to my whole family. Everyone was cross. Emma disappeared from the kitchen completely after I was overcome by a fit of frustration and slammed an egg through the drain so hard that the disposer didn't have any work to do. Not good. I tried to pray.

Finally, some good news. Nathaniel had been quietly working on his technique while watching a movie in the gameroom. He announced that if he rolled the egg very slowly, exerting only light pressure over an extended length of time, he could generally manage to separate the egg from its shell. O Happy Day! He had amassed a cache of 6 or 7 peeled eggs. It was slow going, but finally we got them peeled, and I began the easy part--making the deviled egg filling.

This post is already too long, so I'll just cut to the chase and tell you that my fancy decorating tip kept malfunctioning, causing the filled eggs to take on the appearance of a human brain on the halfshell. I battled on valiantly. Emma assured me that nobody would look at them as critically as I. I gave up on making them look pretty and shoved them into the refrigerator at 11 p.m.. The kitchen looked like a middle school cafeteria after a food fight.

Then I realized that my poor family had eaten ice cream for supper.

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